Cleco Card

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If you are like most metal airplane builders, you probably have a couple of plastic cups or buckets full of Clecoes in your shop. Clecoes end up everywhere-on the workbench, in the back of tool drawers, under the workbench-and we rarely know how many we actually own. This is fine in most cases of aircraft fabrication-but when you get to closed-out structures or maintenance jobs, it is bad form to leave the little devils floating around inside an airplane.

I recently saw a clever idea for keeping track of Clecoes while visiting the Voodoo Racing hangar at the Yolo County airport in California. It would be really bad to have a loose Cleco rattling around at 500 mph, so the guys in the shop made up these little “Cleco cards” to keep track of how many are accounted for. Easy to make, they might keep things more organized in the shop-for those who like to keep their Clecoes in a row.

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Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a former member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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